DLD affects 2 in 30 children.

Watch Ellen’s video about living with DLD, and a poem she has written about her experience.

Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) is a lifelong condition affecting 2 children in every classroom of 30 in the UK.

Lots of children have it, yet most people don’t know about it.

Because language is such a central life skill, people with DLD often have wider-reaching difficulties. It is sometimes described as a 'hidden disability' because it isn’t always obvious.

Ellen was diagnosed with DLD in Year 10, and now wants to help give a voice to all those children and families in the same situation.

‘Often, I have felt invisible. People assume I can’t speak, or that I don’t know the answer to a question if I don’t answer straight away, as they don’t give me enough time, which does my head in!

The more people that know about DLD, the better it will be, and the more likely there will be tolerance and understanding. Apart from my speech and language therapist, no one I’ve spoken to has really heard about DLD, which is sad. I definitely want teachers and parents to know more, as they can make the biggest change in someone’s life.

I really want people to understand what it is like growing up without a voice, and how they can help. Everyone deserves a fair chance.’

A gift today could help more children and young peoplereceive the support they need. Your donation could provide the tools to develop crucial skills, and the opportunity for children to catch up with their classmates. For a child struggling today, the difference can be lifechanging.

We provide support right across the UK. We develop tools for schools and nurseries for children who are struggling to talk and understand words. Resources like our practical guide enable teachers to identify and support children with DLD in school. And our assessment service helps parents ensure their child has the right support for their needs, allowing them to thrive and reach their potential.

My donation


  • could buy a communication cookbook, with activities and recipes to support talking and understanding of words for 4–6-year-olds

  • could help four families support their children's development, by providing them with a Ready Steady activity book

  • could help three families in need by providing them with an activity pack for early communication with their baby


I CAN is a registered charity in England and Wales 210031 and in Scotland SC039947. Registered address: 2 Angel Gate, Hall Street, London, EC1V 2PT.

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